The Distribution of Authority in Formal Organizations

By Gene W. Dalton; Louis B. Barnes et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
Conclusion

THIS STUDY of change in formal organization structure examined how a top manager altered the distribution of authority and simultaneously reorganized the centers of power and influence in a research and development activity. The objective of the change was to increase productivity through the heightened motivation of individuals closely connected with the project work of the Center. Shifting authority downward in the organization and altering the bases of power and influence resulted in increased importance of work groups and diminished importance of departments as the units of planning and decision making. It resulted also in added power and visibility of selected middle managers and professional scientists at the expense of the two senior levels of management just below the position of the chief executive of the Center.

This study therefore deals directly with a problem basic in all formal organization planning: the social-psychological consequences of decisions to reallocate authority and to alter the means by which individuals seek to influence one another. This problem, as it appears in a research and development center, sharply portrays the tensions inherent in all organizations as alternate types of authority compete for power and influence.


STRUCTURAL CHANGE AND ALTERNATE TYPES OF AUTHORITY

Two major types of authority upon which power relations develop are hierarchical and professional. Hierarchical authority vests power, or the potential for influencing others, in

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PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This chapter was written by Professor Zaleznik. See Foreword.

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The Distribution of Authority in Formal Organizations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • TABLE OF Contents xi
  • List of Tables xiii
  • LIST OF FIGURES xiii
  • Chapter I- Formal Organization in Research and Practice 1
  • Chapter II- Case History 9
  • Summary 33
  • Chapter III- Authority, Power, and Influence 35
  • Chapter IV 56
  • Summary 101
  • Chapter V- Change in Organizations 108
  • Summary 146
  • Chapter VI- Conclusion 148
  • IN CONCLUSION 168
  • Chapter VII- Another Point of View 169
  • Appendix A 191
  • Appendix B- The Concept of Authority and Organizational Change 199
  • Reference FootNotes 213
  • Bibliography 217
  • AUTHOR Index 225
  • SUBJECT Index 227
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